Spotlight on Society Staffer: Mike Phelps
By Mike Phelps on Mar/09/2015
Spotlight on Society Staffer Mike Phelps, the Society’s Logistics Manager.
Mike, tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in a suburb outside Rochester, N.Y., and I can’t believe Parks & Recreation is really over. (editor’s note 1; Parks & Rec takes place in Indiana. Mike just really loved the show). In the 2012 Summer Olympics I rooted for Ryan Lochte, because his name wasn’t Michael Phelps.
What do you do at the Society?
I am the Society’s Logistics Manager. I manage a team of three people who are responsible for creating and mailing all of the organization’s invitations to prospective members, and also ensuring chapters have all the materials they need to run successful inductionceremonies (T-shirts, certificates, awards, etc.). More importantly, though, I play on the company’s rec volleyball team and consistently lose to our IT Manager in games of FIFA 13 during our lunch breaks.
What brought you to the Society?
A stroke of good luck. I went to school for communications and journalism, and worked as a sports writer for six years before growing tired of the industry. I stumbled across an ad for the Society and was intrigued by the promise of a snack area. I’ve now been working here for nearly three years and am happy to say the work is immensely satisfying (and so are the snacks).
What do you do outside the Society?
I just finished a month-long binge of watching entirely too much college basketball on TV. This year was kind of a bummer as my team, Syracuse, banned itself from the postseason. But there’s still nothing better than March Madness.
What advice would you like to share with members?
Why listen to advice from me when you can listen to advice from fictional character Leslie Knope, the pride of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana [editor’s note 2: where Parks & Rec actually takes place]; “Teddy Roosevelt once said, ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing. ’ And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people that you love.”
Who’s your favorite leader, past or present, real or fictional?
Jim Kelly. When I was a kid, he was the unquestioned leader of my favorite football team, the Buffalo Bills. After retiring from football he dedicated himself to his non-profit organization, Hunter’s Hope. It funds research and raises awareness for Krabbe disease, which took the life of his son, Hunter, at age 8. Kelly himself was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 (he has since been declared cancer-free after numerous rounds of treatment). Whether leading the Bills to four straight Super Bowls, fighting for his son, or fighting for himself, he never changed, never stopped leading, and never stopped being an inspiration.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." -Yogi Berra